Friday night here in Phoenix and #sapteched09 has come to an end. It’s been an awesome event and I can’t even try to describe everything I did and learned here without writing a book rather than a blog. So I’ll focus on my personal highlights of the past four days:
- The Experts Networking Lounge worked great for me. Not only that it got me to TechEd in the first place (see SAP TechEd Experts Networking Lounge – to TechEd through the back door), I ended up hanging out in the Experts Lounge every afternoon, attending sessions on a variety of topics, spreading from ABAP Tooling via BPM, innovative usage scenarios with SAP and Google Wave to Social Networking. Pretty much the full spectrum. It was so informative to discuss with the Experts in a private and relaxed atmosphere. Not to mention the valuable feedback I got during my own sessions on Blue Ruby and REST@SAP.
- Meeting the SAP Mentors and seeing them “at work” – thanks to the Rugby shirts, it was hard not to see them. And on various occasions I could talk to them and confirm that they not only add value to the SAP community but also to my own work – I certainly remember the RIA Hackers night on Wednesday, the Enterprise Geeks dinner at Fogo de Chao on Thursday (we went on eating and talking and talking and eating and finally even missed the Train concert), various Experts Networking sessions and my lunch with Marilyn Pratt who introduced me to more people than I can possibly remember. So I collected business cards 🙂
- Talking to customers. I mean real customers. Users of our products, actually. Not the ones who make strategic decisions and never see a SAP Gui – the people who get really upset with our tools from time to time, but still love ’em. I had inspiring discussion and heard some funny anecdotes. Hiding in the labs most of the time, I appreciate every chance to be exposed to the real life.
- OK, I can list it here: the keynotes. Why would the keynotes be a highlight for me? Because usually, I hate keynotes. Great, bla, future, yaddayadda. This time I took my seat at 8am sharp and the two hours just went by. Entertaining as always: Ian Kimbell. I know I shouldn’t, but whenever Ian presents, I wish for something real bad to happen. Infinite loop. Total crash of system. Some guy paid by Oracle running ‘cross the stage and grabbing the demo equipment. Anything. Just to see Ian talking himself out of the mess – this must be even more entertaining than the actual demo.
- Friday’s hands-on workshop on ABAP Troubleshooting. I do ABAP nearly every day and I’ve been doing it for a while. I have also been working with the new debugger. But seeing all these useful features I had never used because I had no idea they existed, made me feel like a stupid school kid. I can’t wait to get back to Blue Ruby development and do some serious debugging and analyzing. Four hours very well spent!
- My funniest moment at TechEd 2009 was during an educational session performed by an SAP Partner: Pulling up a slide with a super-complicated architecture diagram (again: it was a partner, it wasn’t SAP!), the presenter commented: “I don’t want to go into detail, but the important thing is that there is enough components here…”. AFAIK, I was the only one laughing my head off, but I found that totally hilarious! Don’t be surprise to see that in one of my next presentations.